Legendary Rick’s Cafe – Negril


Rick’s Cafe in Negril is one of Jamaica’s most famous hot spots. It’s actually a bar and restaurant, but most people go there for heart-throbbing cliff jumping, and breath-taking sunsets!

Located at the top of a 35-foot high cliff on the far west end of Jamaica, it boasts some of the best, uninterrupted, sunsets in the world!

Picture of Ricks Cafe

If you get there before sunset, your attention will without a doubt be on the people jumping the off the highest cliff (35 feet). You’ll see both men and women of all different fitness levels making it look like a piece-of-cake.

History of Rick’s Cafe

The cliff side was originally owned by a local doctor who was the son of the first Governor-General of the newly independent Jamaica. However, Rick’s Cafe was founded in 1974 by Richard Hershman. At this time Negril was pretty quiet with very few establishments, electricity, telephone or running water. Negril was always known for the wonderful seven-mile beach, however, Rick’s Cafe added another breathtaking attraction. It was the first public bar and restaurant in the area that possessed such a magnificent view of the sunset.

Unfortunately, in 1988 Hurricane Gilbert hit the island and totally destroyed Rick’s Café. The waves went as high 25 feet on the cliff and over the trees. Rick’s Cafe was soon rebuilt but Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 and destroyed it again. Waves from Hurricane Ivan went as high as 60 to 80 feet. Once Hurricane Ivan passed, Rick’s Cafe came back bigger and even better.

Visited by my Co-Worker Trish TheTravelGal


Why Should You Use A Travel Specialist?

“Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own”

What is the role of the travel agent and how has it changed?
Travel agents work hard on behalf of the consumer. The role of a travel agent is to make a trip – whether for work or pleasure – a stress-free and memorable experience. Travel agents spend time not only booking tickets and searching for affordable prices, but also personalizing their services for individual clients. “Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own,” exemplifies the importance and way professional travel agents view their role in today’s changing market. The job of a travel agent has grown and adapted to reflect the changes within the travel industry and the difference in the way people think about travel. Travel agents recognize that consumers today have done their homework and are more knowledgeable about what they want. Clients who turn to a travel agent desire an in-depth, personal approach and want the advice and expertise of a professional.

In January, the television news magazine, 20/20, reported the results of a test in which travel agents beat consumers at uncovering the best airfares. However, it is much more than the “lowest fare” that provides the compelling argument for a good travel agent.

The best thing an agent can do is to match up a traveler with the vacation that’s right for them. The professional travel consultant builds relationships with their clients to learn their interests and lifestyles, as well as their dispositions.

Below is a list of some of the important services, which are either provided free or for a nominal charge, by travel agents:

1. Distilling the product information: Through an on-going and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education and customer feedback, the agent becomes a travel expert.

2. Investigating and supplying competitive information: No single supplier is going to advise a consumer that a better route or a better fare is available on a competing carrier.

3. Staying abreast of the most current and timely promotions: Via daily faxes, agent-only e-mail transmissions, and their relationships with their district sales managers, agents are obtaining the most current promotional information.

4. Analyzing the current promotions: The cheapest is not always the best.

5. Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional’s experience can save a traveler money . . . and headaches.

6. Making recommendations for travel-related options: Travel agents share the experience and knowledge they accumulate about a variety of travel topics – from where to eat, where to shop and what to pack.

7. Simplifying the research and subsequent transaction: Like a personal shopper, agents can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations and hotel stays – with suggestions that are in the best interest of the client, not the supplier.

8. Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Agents can add to the client’s experience by sending a bottle of wine, providing a special land package, a specific escort or other customer amenities.

9. Using their clout to obtain the best possible in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it’s airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel agent has more buying power than the consumer.

10. Getting problems resolved: The agent serves as the consumer’s advocate in the event something inadvertently goes wrong.

What are the benefits of using a travel agent compared to the Internet?
The Internet can be a powerful tool. It can increase the scope and reach of a consumer’s efforts and allow a person to check hundreds of options or research destinations in depth. But to make the Internet work effectively, a person has to understand where to look and what questions to ask, otherwise hours can be wasted surfing the Web and ultimately produce unsatisfactory results. This is where a travel agent can make a world of difference.

A professional travel agent is trained to guide a client through the entire process of planning a trip, whether for business or for leisure. Travel agents take classes, participate in seminars, become destination specialists and join professional associations in order to ensure they make each client’s travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible. When planning a business trip or family vacation, the Internet can be a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise and guidance of a travel agent. Also, during travel crises, the Internet can’t replace a human being who will persist to help a client get restitution.

Will the Internet replace the need for travel agents?
There are some things technology cannot replicate, and the personal touch is one of them. The Internet is a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise, guidance and personal service of a travel agent. At a time when travelers are stressed out with hectic schedules, travel agents have all of the information at their fingertips, saving valuable hours of surfing on the Web. Agents also can offer insider tips based on personal experience.

With the dozens of online travel sites and the ability to book directly with almost any airline, hotel or other travel service, it would seem that travel agents might go the way of the dinosaurs. The American Society of Travel Agents, though, reports travel agents sell 85 percent of all cruises and 70 percent of all packages and tours, as of 2008. Agents are still in demand, and offer plenty of benefits when you are booking your vacation.

Do travel agents charge service fees? How much? How has this changed? I DO NOT CHARGE A FEE FOR MY SERVICES
Most do charge fees. Since 1998, the number of agencies charging service fees on one or more product line has increased from 64 percent to more than 91% percent in 2009. The most common fee charged is a service fee for airline ticket procurement services. On average, travel agencies charge their customers $36 for providing this service. Agencies also often charge fees for other services such as trip research, Amtrak, car rental and hotel-only reservations.

What percentage of airline tickets, rental cars, cruises and hotel rooms are sold by travel agents?
When it comes to booking travel, travel agents are experienced professionals. Travel agents sell:
85 percent of cruises
70 percent of all tours and packages
50 percent of all airline tickets
30 percent of all hotels
25 percent of all car rentals

Time and Money Savings
Sometimes, spending hours on the computer searching for the best travel deals gets you results — and other times, it just leads to frustration. When you work with a travel agent, she does that legwork, searching out the travel options that best meet your needs and budget. In most cases, travel agents have access to information about rates and routes that average consumer might not have, saving you time and money, even when you consider the agent’s fee. Using a travel agent can also help you score a great deal on a package or promotion. Agents generally receive information and access to promotions from resorts, cruise lines and other travel providers that aren’t available to the general public.

Travel Assistance
You’re en route to a Caribbean cruise a when a snowstorm in Detroit delays your flight in Philadelphia. If you booked your travel through an agent, you can call him to get assistance with rebooking your travel arrangements. When you book through an online travel site, you might not be able to get that level of personalized attention, or you could have trouble finding someone who can help you get where you need to be. If something goes wrong when you arrive at your destination, such as your room is unacceptable or the transportation to the resort never shows up, your travel agent can usually resolve those problems.

Travel Recommendations
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, but you’re not sure which cruise line is best for you or where you want to go. Maybe you want to take the kids to Disney World, but you’re having trouble navigating the endless array of ticket and package options. A travel agent can help. Many travel agents specialize in a particular type of travel, such as cruises, Disney or Europe, and are able to make recommendations and help you plan a trip that meets your needs and budget. Their inside knowledge helps you avoid wasting time and money on the things you’re not interested in, and lets you focus instead on taking the trip.

Travel agents who book a high volume of trips often have access to perks that you might not be able to get on your own. Whether it’s a room upgrade, a fee waiver or even reservations at a hot resort or on a popular tour, travel agents often add perks into your vacation plan. If you are planning a trip for a special occasion, such as a marriage proposal, a travel agent has access to the resources and people who can help you plan the perfect event.

Riu Palace Las Americas – Cancun

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Cancun Mexico

One of my favorite places in all the world, Cancun!   Ahhhh, the beaches and ocean and fishes (I love diving) that I call home away from home.   Have even considered relocating to Cancun many times.

This time I got to take my Aunt Mary Ellen, who had only ever been on cruises, never to an all inclusive, and now, she’s a convert to the world of all inclusive vacations.

Cancún (Spanish pronunciation: [kaŋˈkun]) is a coastal city in Mexico‘s easternmost state, Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula. As a rapidly growing city with a quickly changing skyline, the estimated population for Cancún is 705,000 in 2010, a 20% increase from the census in 2005. Cancún is located on the Yucatan Channel that separates Mexico from the island of Cuba in the Greater Antilles. The Cancún region is sometimes known as the Mexican Caribbean or the Mayan Riviera.

Cancún is the municipal seat of the Benito Juárez municipality and a world-renowned balneario and tourist resort. The city center is located on the mainland which connects the Nichupté and lagoons to a narrow 7-shaped island where the modern beachfront hotels are located in the tourist centric hotel zone.

RIU Palace Las Americas:

Like being at a Palace  🙂    Just a few from around the resort

This was a personal yacht that was anchored out between Cancun and Isla Mujeres all week.  It was really beautiful all lit up at nite.















These were being painted by a finger, yes, a finger, at the resort!

One of the restaurants, during lunch.










Chichen Itza, Mayan Ruins

600 AD

encounter with the Maya, at Chichén Itzá. About 120 miles…glory days of the Maya, about 600 AD..Cortes. Unlike Chichén Itzá’s flat jungle …

1000 AD

It is generally believed that the Toltecs invaded Chichen Itza and the Yucatan in about the year 1000 AD, conquering the Maya and installing new …

Chichen Itza was a center of pilgrimage for the ancient Maya for over 1,000 years. The Sacred Cenote (a large natural well or limestone sink hole) was holy to the ancient Rain God “Chac”.

About 987 the ruler of the Toltec people of central Mexico came here, and with his Maya allies made Chichen Itza the most powerful city in the Yucatan. The ruler called himself “Kukulcan”, the name of the Mesoamerican Feathered Serpent deity (also known as “Quetzalcoatl”) and Chichen Itza became a center for worship of that god as well. More buildings were built here in a mixture of Maya and Toltec styles.

About 1221 the Maya revolted against the rulers of Chichen Itza. The city was not abandoned, but as political power shifted elsewhere it declined and no major new buildings were constructed. Chichen Itza remained a place of pilgrimage for the Maya until it was conquered by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century.

The structures of Chichen Itza were overgrown with jungle and slowly decayed until major archaeological projects began in the 1920s. Since then, more of the ancient structures have been cleared and restored and more and more tourists come to visit.







IK Kil, Cenote

Close to Chichen Itza the “Sacred Blue Cenote”, is a well-type cenote with waterfalls. The lush jungle like environement of hanging vines and waterfalls make it the perfect place to cool down after experiencing the magic of Chichen Itza.












Adults Only Luxury – Hyatt Zilara Cancun


Update 12/6/14 to reflect personal photos from Swim Up Suites, see below.

One of my very favorite resorts of all time:   The Adults Only Hyatt Zilara

The amenities are much too many to even list, it just goes on and on, even down to a guy that comes around the pool all day every day and cleans your sunglasses for you, and brings you skewers of frozen grapes!   A 24/7 bakery where you can get lattes and desserts, a 24/7 sports bar with snacks and ping pong and pool, all their meats are cooked in front of you while you watch, several specialty restaurants, a big 32 inch flat screen tv with a woofer on it for sound, which rotates so that you can watch it on the balcony, a huge in room jacuzzi looking out over the ocean, the shower has like 8 shower heads in it including a rain shower, stocked fridge and premium brand liquors in the room, a ‘smart butler’ service for room service, they don’t come in your room, they put it in a door in the wall at your door and turn on a light so you know it’s there, and you reverse that when finished, HUGE beach!  It just goes on and on, I was just amazed even myself.    

This is a FANTASTIC resort.   The amenities are so many it’s almost impossible to mention them all, starting with a massive stretch of beach looking out over gorgeous teal waters and, close to the airport.   A few of the things that fascinated me, and these are only a few, of so many:

A guy that comes around the pool all day every day and cleans your sunglasses for you and brings you skewers of frozen grapes!

A 24/7 bakery where you can get lattes and desserts

A 24/7 sports bar with snacks and ping pong and pool

All their meats are cooked in front of you while you watch

Several specialty restaurants

A big 32 inch flat screen tv with a woofer on it for sound, in each room, which rotates so that you can watch it on the balcony

A huge in room jacuzzi looking out over the ocean

The showers has 6-8 shower heads, including a rain shower

Stocked fridge and premium brand liquors in the room

A ‘smart butler’ service for room service, they don’t come in your room, they put it in a door in the wall at your door and turn on a light so you know it’s there, and you reverse that when finished

It just goes on and on, I was just amazed even myself and I’ve been to Cancun MANY times

Wonderful spa services, and each day they give free samples massages around the pool

Beach Cabana beds all around the pool and the beach, enough for everyone and with some room categories, you get one assigned specifically to you.

This resort has a variety of room categories, including swim up rooms in blocks of 4 and these have their own pools so they don’t have to come into the main pool, unless they want to; Premium Oceanview  and Premium Oceanfront Suites (Double and Kings), as well as Swim Up Suites.  Corner Suites with wrap around balconies, a hammock, table, and chairs on every balcony; and every room looks out over the ocean.  They also have a great pilates area, full state of the art gym, a 5 jacuzzi therapy system, each one designed to stimulate a different body portion; furnishings are incredible!


You get all of the VIP Privileges of the resort, and are one category below the Ambassador Suite. There are a limited number of the Swim Ups and they include everything all of the other categories have, plus top shelf liquors (such as Don Julio), the rain shower and massage shower, plus a steam shower, all of the spa facilities, and more. They also have a WII playstation, bose sound system, Ipod/iPhone dock, flat screen TV, DVD player, munchies, coke products, and more.

You step down from your balcony into your personal, private, heated infinity pool (only shared with 3 other swim ups in your bank of rooms), two chairs and a table in the water on your pedestal, and bartender service.

Here are a few personal photos, please pardon a few personal items in them.

This is the view looking out from the swimups to the resort and beach:

2nd Vanity, closets (in-room safe, ironing board, iron, umbrella, robes and slippers inside)

Looking down into the room from the upper level where the sofa and office is

In room jacuzzi.  When those blinds are open, you look out over the beach and ocean

Looking out the sliding doors.    There’s also a huge hammock on the balcony, and, they will bring you special dinners there.

Also a comfy chair and a personal telescope for star gazing!

Looking up from the lower level

Additional premium brands.    More are in the dispenser in the cabinet.   Also, a personal coffee maker, and, a personal expresso machine

Looking towards the door from the upper level

Rain shower, 4 massaging jets, phone head, and, steam sauna, large enough for two people, with a built in sauna seat.  The window looks out into the room and out to the ocean

iTunes dock, loaded with music already

Looking down the resort from the water

Looking up towards the room from the private pool

Nice little greeting!

Looking down onto your personal pedistal and chairs

View of beach from sitting in your sun chair

They also do a LOT of weddings here, and they take care of everything.

These are my personal photos and video, below.

Infinity Pool

All rooms have a huge jacuzzi and a hammock and furniture on every balcony

A double room, called the Jr. Oceanview Suite

Corner Suite:

Watching this wonderful wedding was so much fun.   They were a really fun group

One of the Beach weddings

Turtle Nests




Getting ready for a private dinner













24 hour pastry-coffee shop

Pelicano’s, by the Ocean!







5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to Mexico in 2013

5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to Mexico

TAKE CHARGE on 01.02.13
Photo: Geraint Rowland/Creative Commons
Mexico is a favorite destination for honeymooners, college students and people from all over the world looking to escape the winter cold. Why should your family follow suit (and pack yours)?

1. Mexico is safe.

visit mexico
Photo: Eneas de Troya/Creative Commons
Despite the low cost and convenience of a Mexican vacation, travel alerts and news headlines have made many parents leery of crossing the border with kids in tow for about two years. Fortunately, the U.S. State Department has recently made it clear that Mexico is completely safe for tourists. While border states and isolated areas should be avoided, there is no warning in effect for many popular vacation destinations, including: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Cristobal de las Casas, San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Chichen Itza.

2. The food is delicious.

gourmet food in mexico
Photo: Britt Reints
Sure, you can find all of your favorite Mexican dishes, but the real surprise is how well Mexico does every other cuisine. A bounty of fresh ingredients and a culture that lives to serve results in top notch dining in every flavor you could imagine. While you’re in Mexico, go out for Italian, Japanese, Peruvian or French food. The service and the taste are guaranteed to be worth writing home about.

3. The learning opportunities are endless.

mayan temple
Photo: Kyle Simourd/Creative Commons
Now that your kids have heard about the Mayans, take this opportunity to show them the notorious calendars (and explain that this ancient culture didn’t actually predict the end of the world). Your family can also practice your Spanish, discover baroque architecture and learn to identify new plants and animals. International travel, even to a neighboring country, provides an endless parade of new learning experiences for children young and old.

4. There are plenty of budget-friendly options.

all-inclusive resort
A string of travel warnings and terrifying news stories has not been kind to Mexico’s tourism industry. As a result, many hotels and resorts are lowering prices or offering extras to entice families. Personally, I think the all-inclusive resort is the best way to do Mexico as a family. Eliminate the can-I-have-it-no-you-can’t cycle from your time together, as well as much of your discretionary vacation spending.

5. It’s simply beautiful.

mexican beach
Photo: Mindaugas Danys/Creative Commons
You can make plans to swim with dolphins, climb an ancient pyramid or learn how to surf. You can also lay by the pool with a book or spend hours watching the kids play on the beach. The scenery and weather are a ready-made backdrop for unplugging, relaxing and reconnecting. You might actually go home feeling refreshed.

El Dorado Casita’s Royale, Cancun/Riviera Maya

 El Dorado Casitas Royale, one of Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Top 100 hotels in the World and a AAA Four Diamond Resort, is the top of romantic seaside luxury.
El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma is an Adults Only Resort, located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, facing the beautiful Mexican Caribbean. The property is only 25 minutes south of Cancun International Airport, 15 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, just 10 minutes away from “Mayacoba championship” golf course, 20 minutes away from the “Playacar Golf Club” and numerous wonderful Cenotes, 5 minutes south from Puerto
Morelos and 35 minutes south of downtown Cancun. Built on 450 acres of tropical jungle, over a mile of unspoiled Punta Brava Beach and spread among hundreds of palm trees, this property is a tropical paradise.  


Casita Suite

foto habitacion

This is a romantic and intimate suite with outdoor shower, one king size bed, palapa (thatched) roof, bathroom (with bathtub, shower, double sink and premium toiletries), amazing views from the indoor Jacuzzi for two, oversized balcony, DVD library, and Concierge services.

Individual Casita Suite

foto habitacion

Complete privacy and romance, this suite is located in a secluded building with outdoor shower, one king size bed, palapa (thatched) roof, bathroom (with bathtub, shower, double sink and premium toiletries), amazing views from the indoor Jacuzzi for two, oversized balcony, DVD library and Concierge services.

Swim Up Casita Suite

Romantic and Intimate Suite with outdoor shower, 1 king size bed, palapa (thatched) roof, full bath & shower (double sink), in-suite Jacuzzi for two, oversized balcony with hammock & chairs, DVD library, high standard amenities and Concierge services.

Infinity Pool Casita Suite
foto habitacion

A romantic and intimate suite located on the second floor. It features outdoor shower, one king-size bed, palapa (thatched) roof, bathroom (with bathtub, shower, double sink and premium toiletries), in-suite Jacuzzi for two, oversized balcony with hammock & chairs and private pool, DVD library and Concierge services.

Infinity Pool Swim Up Casita Suite

foto habitacion

This suite has a private pool and direct access to the relaxation river. It features outdoor shower, one king-size bed, palapa (thatched) roof, bathroom (with shower, bathtub, double sink and premium toiletries), in-suite Jacuzzi for two, oversized balcony with hammock & chairs, DVD library and Concierge services.

Presidential One Bedroom Casita – On Request

foto habitacion

Spectacular and romantically designed, this suite features an oversized ocean view bedroom, an adjoining living room equipped with a plasma screen TV and a terrace. Guests are truly pampered here by luxurious facilities and personalized Concierge service. This suite also offers additional amenities for entertainment such as board games, personal snorkel equipment, iPod, espresso maker, international magazines and daily newspaper. An amenities kit, bathrobes and bath slippers are also provided as well as a daily turn down service.


Celebrate with an exquisite meal and a drink, experience the most delicious dinner options and a magical atmosphere prepared specially for you.

Delight your senses with an innovating Gourmet Inclusive cuisine concept that takes you to complete satisfaction. El Dorado Casitas Royale shows 7 distinctive all-inclusive à la carte restaurants with a grand variety of extraordinary dishes, desserts and marvelous drinks for every occasion.

To ensure total comfort and maximum flexibility, none of our restaurants requires reservations.

All restaurants are non smoking and operate on select schedules.
A maximum of 6 people per table is allowed.


Guests’ appetites are met with enjoyable tastes from all over the world. With a great chef’s menu, Cocotal offers something for everyone in an elegant air-conditioned atmosphere: continental breakfast, international à la carte breakfast as well as a gourmet dinner.

  • Cuisine: International
  • Continental breakfast: 6:30 am – 7:00 am
  • International breakfast: 7:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Dinner: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm


With a five-star service D’Italia offers lovers the perfect intimate dining experience. Allow the soft, enchanting sounds of a string quartet wrap you as you enjoy an exquisite Italian meal prepared by gourmet chefs. A visit to El Dorado Royale is not complete without spending a romantic evening here.

  • Cuisine: Contemporary Italian
  • Open: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm


Enjoy the lovely ocean views as you indulge with the best of the Pacific Rim cuisine from India, Vietnam, China and Japan. Don’t miss the region’s freshest sushi or the genuine spring rolls. Buddha statues make the mood for the captivating Thai-inspired decor.

  • Cuisine: Pacific Rim
  • Breakfast: 7:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Lunch: 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Dinner: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

La Isla

Open air palapa serving à la carte International Cuisine. It features both a continental breakfast and an international breakfast, lunch and a Mediterranean Cuisine Gourmet Dinner.

  • Cuisine: International
  • Continental breakfast: 6:00 am – 7:00 am
  • International breakfast: 7:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Lunch: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Dinner: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

JoJo’s Seaside Grill

A real seaside grill, JoJo’s offers authentic, fresh Caribbean cuisine in a delightful setting. Fresh sea breeze and relaxing sounds of the waves rolling in, the Caribbean Sea provides all the ambiance guests could ask for in this open-air restaurant. The menu is updated every day with just-off-the-boat fresh fish; JoJo’s is a seafood lover’s eden. From authentic ceviche to traditional fish and chips, each dish is prepared fresh, just the way you like it.

  • Cuisine: Caribbean Food
  • Open: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm

Fuentes-Culinary Theatre

A gastronomes dream come true, Fuentes is the best for dining and entertainment. Five opened kitchens under a 90-foot domed thatched roof. Fuentes has a bon vivant adventure to please all your appetites and curiosities. Flat-screens display our Michelin-trained chefs’ cooking specialties and Mexico’s vast culinary heritage.

  • Cuisine: Culinary Arts
  • Breakfast: 7:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Dinner: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm


For those afternoon cravings, our Gourmet Corners are the perfect answer.

Healthy Corner

Healthy corner serves fruit, whole-wheat sandwiches and smoothies made fresh to order.

  • Open: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

La Cabaña Pizzeria

Come enjoy wood oven pizzas served to order, a selection of Angus burgers, gourmet bites and other succulent Mexican “botana” preparations.

  • Open: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Rincon Mexicano

This gourmet corner serves delicious and authentic Mexican delicacies.

  • Open: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Dress Code

To enhance our unique dining experience, please comply with our “casual-elegance” dress code in all gourmet restaurants.

  • Ladies: Capri pants, dresses, skirts, long pants, shoes, dress sandals.
  • Gentlemen: Bermuda shorts, long pants, collared shirts, dress sandals, casual shoes.



El Dorado Casitas Royale offers its guests with a variety of bars, each with its own unique ambiance.

Martini Bar

Sip martinis at the sophisticated-chic Martini Bar which offers a variety of premium vodkas from around the world. Have a drink while enjoying the sea breeze and palm trees.

  • Open: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am

Las Guacamayas

Relax on one of the swinging chairs while savoring a cold drink. Choose between a variety of beverages, (cold Mexican beers, cheladas, exotic cocktails, aged tequila and more), all the while enjoying live music.

  • Open: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am

Las Olas Corner

Located at Albatros bar, Las Olas serves tasty salads, wraps, whole wheat sandwiches and refreshing smoothies. Located in Casitas 31.

  • Open: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Swim-Up Bars

Enjoy the 10 swim-up bars where gourmet snacks, premium cocktails and other refreshing beverages are served without having to even leave the pool!

All swim-up bars are open 9:00 am- 5:00 pm (except the beach bar which is open 9:00 am – 2:00 am).

  • Albatros
  • Beach Bar
  • Colibrí
  • Faisanes
  • Gaviotas Seashore Bar
  • La Isla
  • Las Fuentes
  • Papagayos
  • Pelícanos
  • Pericos
  • Quetzal
  • Tucanes

Activities & Entertainment

Day or night, the El Dorado Casitas Royale offers activities that make each moment count. From tennis and yoga, to snorkeling and kayaking, there is something for everyone and it is all for you.

Next to the shores of the Mexican Caribbean, El Dorado Casitas Royale provides a wide variety of ways to enjoy the water. We have 13 pools; one is a natural saltwater pool.  There’s scuba clinics in the main pool, while the lazy river runs thru the resort. Non-motorized water sports include paddle boating, kayaking and snorkeling. They are the only resort in the area that offers on-site wave-runners, ATV tours and horseback riding.

There are a wide variety of fitness options, complete fitness center, tennis courts and bicycles you can ride around the beautiful grounds. Join in a yoga class or take a sauna or steam bath.

Every night, the disco becomes alive in a huge palapa. Red Carpet Night offers an intoxicating mix of gourmet food, wine and tequila tasting, cigar rollers, a live band and acrobats.

For those who desire a vast view, the Tour Desk arranges exciting off-site excursions. Enjoy a day of deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, or shopping. Rent a car and explore the Mayan city, or take our shuttle service to visit Cancun or Playa del Carmen.


  • Air rifle shooting
  • Archery
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bike tour
  • Bocce game
  • Choose a song
  • Cooking lessons
  • Dance on a towel
  • Darts tournament
  • Fitness center
  • Horseshoe
  • Kayak race
  • Kayak tour
  • Kayak towing
  • Latin dance lessons
  • Million goal
  • Mini boat race
  • Mini golf
  • Name that tune
  • NFL shots
  • Paper plane contest
  • Ping pong
  • Pool volleyball
  • Sauna
  • Soccer
  • Spanish lessons
  • Steam baths
  • Tennis lessons
  • Tequila tasting
  • Towel figures
  • Water aerobics
  • Water baloon fight
  • Water Olympics
  • Water polo
  • Yoga classes

Enjoy Live Entertainment all Night long!

Discover an enchanting night entertainment with fabulous Disco Nights, Shows, Mexican Live music, DJ’s and more. Enjoy nightly entertainment as well as inviting dance music. If you are more the quiet kind, join a fine conversation with other guests while enjoying a great variety of cool Caribbean cocktails.

Your date with romance:

With romantic atmosphere, deluxe services and seductive amenities, the adults-only El Dorado Casitas Royale was designed especially for couples in love.

Celebrate love in a captivating Caribbean beachfront resort created for that purpose. El Dorado Casitas Royale is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, a dream wedding, an amazing honeymoon, or an unforgettable anniversary − their specialty is romance.

Romantic Highlights:

Beach Beds

Specially located for privacy and attended by your Beach Butler, their beach beds allow you to share intimate moments while gentle breeze and the sound of the waves pamper you.

Private Open-Air Showers

This is an exquisite experience, totally private, with the sunshine overhead and the inviting waters of your very own outdoor shower.

Candlelight Dinners on the Beach

Intimate and romantic, just the two of you, savoring incredible food and wine, while the surf gently breaks at the beach and the candlelight flutters across your faces. This is an unforgettable experience that you will cherish forever

Gourmet Restaurants

Each night has a different flavor, a different dining experience. From elegant surroundings to a more festive atmosphere, you make the choice.

Couples Massage

Choose from our private couples massage room at the Spa or our signature Sky Massage in a bungalow above the white beach. These moments are designed to offer the ultimate relaxation experience.













My Bio – A Little About Me


“Need a Vacation, I Can Help and its a Great Day In Paradise” is my philosophy! I am a native Georgia Girl and in October 2006, I joined the the travel industry full time after my retirement from 27 years of Federal Law Enforcement.  For as long as I can remember, aside from my love of the justice system, I was a ‘travel agent wannabe’ and thru the years of my former career, I fell in love with all that the Caribbean has to offer because getaways were crucial to unwind and back to the everyday.  I still try to schedule a “get-away-from-it-all” vacation 2-3 times a year by visiting various all-inclusive resorts and cruises to relax and dive (see below for an ever expanding list of resorts, cruise ships and destinations visited).  I plan to eventually live near the ocean and would love to own a sailboat.   I am a huge sports fan, and a seasons ticket holder to my favorite NHL team, the Atlanta Thrashers (until they were recently sold), and Atlanta Braves.  I am PADI certified (with approximately 34 dives in Cancun, Cozumel, Belize, Bahamas, Caymans, Mobay, Florida Keys, Roatan, Honduras) and I try to get in 2 dives every other day during a 7-8 day Caribbean visit or cruise.  I love sailing and I am a history buff, especially Naval/Military history, and I love to find and tour historic locations.  I also speak basic Spanish.

I am affiliated with approximately 40 major tour operators that allow me to give extremely competitive pricing to all of my guests on their vacation packages.  Anything you see at a vacation store, I can 99.9% of the time, beat that, and provide you a live, human agent, 24/7/365, with no service fees to you!

I handle each and EVERY vacation as if it were my own and I am very excited about sharing my love of travel with you by making YOUR vacation an adventure that you will never forget, and one that will bring you back to me year after year for more fantastic adventures.  

When you schedule a vacation with me at I will immediately send you the following: 

  • An email that will reflect your confirmation information
  • A payment posted email reflecting the card type and amount of your payment
  • A formal PDF invoice reflecting all of your vacation details and payments, balance due, balance due date and any other information related to your vacation, including a vacation id number that our office uses to track your vacation as well 
  • Any time you make an interim payment, if in deposit status, I will immediately update your PDF invoice and get that out to you for your records.  
  • I will remind you about a week in advance that we are approaching your balance due deadline, so you don’t have to worry about remembering that date 
  • Once “final” payment is received, your travel documents will be generated and sent to your email address, all documents are electronic

Your payment will cover your airfare, your taxes, your resort and your ground transportation to and from the airport at your vacation destination. 

I also check for price drops and promotions every week right up until the week prior to your departure, and if I find those, I am able to get that back to you, either by it being taken off your balance due, or if paid in full, then as a refund to your credit card.   

Before you leave on your vacation, I will: 

  • Contact you to make sure if you have any last minute questions that I can answer for you
  • Provide you with a check list that includes the latest luggage regulations, a hold mail service, info about your transfers and how best to find them, and any other helpful info to make your trip flow smoothly.  
  • Contact you when you return to get any feedback you may or may not wish to provide regarding your vacation 

I am on call for you up to, through and following your vacation and will try to make it such a wonderful and easy process that you will consider me for your future vacations. 

When you return home from your vacation I will touch base with you to see what your thoughts were regarding your vacation, any feedback you may wish to share, etc., and to generate $25.00 in feedback credits for you, good towards future vacations with me.  

Also, if you refer your friends and family, for every booking referred by you, I will request a $25 credit to you towards future vacations booked with me.   

If I can help you, email me by pressing the “Email Me” button above.

I am a Certified Honeymoon Specialist, Destination Wedding Specialist, Caribbean Specialist, Alaska Specialist, Clothing Optional Specialist, Scuba Dive Specialist (54 dives to date, which is a LOT of dives to the diving community), and many more. 

My Formal Certifications

  • Alaska Specialist 
  • Caribbean Specialist
  • Cruise Specialist (have been on 20 cruises to date)
  • Disney/Orlando Specialist
  • Destination Wedding Specialist
  • Europe Specialist
  • Honeymoon Specialist
  • Bermuda Specialist
  • British Virgin Islands ( BVI ) Specialist
  • Cayman Islands – Master Specialist, Master Family Travel Specialist, Dive and Nature Master Specialist
  • CLIA Agent – Time Management Specialist
  • Costa Rica Specialist
  • Couples Resorts Specialist
  • Cozumel Specialist
  • Cunard Cruises Specialist – Queen Victoria World Expert
  • Dominican Republic Specialist
  • Funjet Vacations Specialist – Multiple Destination Expert, Scheduled Air Expert, Air Only Expert
  • Grenada Specialist
  • Honduras Specialist
  • Islands of the Bahamas Specialist
  • Las Vegas Specialist
  • Las Vegas/Fremont Street Experience Specialist
  • Riviera Nayarit Specialist
  • SPORTS Travel Specialist
  • Western Hemisphere Cruise Specialist
  • Princess Cruises Specialist – Groups

My Partial Travel Log

  • Alaska (3 Alaska cruises)
  • Bahamas (Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, Freeport)
  • Canada (Prince Rupert, Victoria)
  • Canada and the New England States(Cruises and Land)
  • Roatan, Honduras
  • Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Roatan, Honduras
  • Belize
  • Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Samana and Puerto Plata)
  • Mexico (Cozumel, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres)
  • Cancun/Riviera Multiple VIsits
  • Grand Cayman
  • Jamaica (MoBay, Negril, Ocho Rios)
  • St. Thomas
  • St. John
  • St. Maartin
  • San Juan
  • Florida (Keys, Miami/South Beach, Panama City, Destin, Fort Lauderdale, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, Orlando, Jacksonville/St. Augustine, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Sunrise/Plantation, Everglades)
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Georgia (All over Georgia, being a Native; including St. Simons Island, Savannah, Kings Bay, North Georgia Mountains)
  • Las Vegas (including Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam)
  • California (Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Venice Beach via Palm Springs, Monterey, Carmel, Hollywood; San Diego/Coronado, etc.; San Fran multiple visits)
  • Boston and The New England States (Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, Cape Cod, Hyannisport, Martha’s Vinyard, Nantucket);   Extensive time in and around Boston, Cape Cod and Hyannis, as well, multiple visits
  • 11 Norwegian Cruises
  • 1 Celebrity Cruise
  • 1 Royal Caribbean Cruise
  • 6 Carnival Cruises

My Partial and Evolving List of Resorts Visited

  • Riu Caribe
  • El Dorado Seaside Suites
  • Temptation
  • The Royal In Cancun
  • Grand Solaris Cancun
  • Royal Solaris Cancun
  • Riu Cancun
  • Riu Palace Peninsula
  • El Dorado SeaSide Suites
  • Le Blanc
  • Grand Lido
  • Desire
  • Hedo 
  • Hidden Beach   
  • Caliente Tampa
  • Caliente Caribe, D.R.
  • Terra Cotta Inn (Palm Springs, CA)
  • Aura Cozumel

My Cruise Ships Sailed on (some more than once):

  • Carnival Triumph (5 sailings)
  • Carnival Imagination
  • Carnival Inspiration
  • Norwegian Sun
  • Norwegian Dawn
  • Norwegian Sky
  • Norwegian Pearl
  • Celebrity Summit
  • Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas

My Las Vegas Hotels Visited

  • Planet Hollywood
  • Bellagio
  • The Mirage
  • The Venetian
  • The Luxor
  • Excalibur
  • New York, New York
  • MGM Grande
  • Balley’s
  • The Flamingo
  • Caesars Palace
  • Paris

Comments from some of my guests:  

Michelle is awesome at what she does. We have booked many trips with her from a couples trip to a large family trip. She gets us great prices which is extremely important. Michelle handles every aspect of the trip. Working with Michelle is like working with a family member and friend. Robyn H.

Michelle’s expertise and professional service are beyond the vocabulary of a ‘Travel Agent’.  Thanks for being there for us!  – Marcel and Nancy S.

Michelle is very polite and professional. She listens to exactly what you are requesting and caters to that desire with a few small suggestions. I am a relations manager for a Fortune 500 company and I would hire her any day.  –  Aaron W.

Michelle is unbelievable with her communication and making sure that every one of our concerns were addressed and that all our questions were answered, always staying one step ahead of us – we didn’t have to do a thing!  She makes it so easy to travel!  I have recommended Michelle to all my friends that are planning a trip, and we are sure to use her services again in the (hopefully near) future!  She makes traveling a breeze – this was our second trip scheduled with Michelle, and I knew that once we signed up, everything was in great hands.  You’ve got a great agent working with you all at GoAwayTravel.com – be sure to take good care of her, because she goes above and beyond for her clients!  Thanks again!    –   Whitney P

I wanted to speak to the awesome service that we received from Michelle while booking our trip.  I had the horrible task of trying to get together a large traveling party.  I was constantly having to change dates, hotels, destinations etc in order to make everyone happy.  Michelle was with me every step of the way to help.  I always felt like I was inconveniencing her by constantly changing back and forth but she was quick to respond and reassure me that this was her job and was willing to help.  Her customer service was WAY above and beyond.  I manage salespeople in the software industry and I am constantly trying to teach them this kind of customer service!  I would hire her in a minute and want to recognize her for her work and willingness to help.    –  Clayton M.   

Michelle is the best!   She will bend over backwards and sideways to help in any way that she can.   She is always available, her emails are answered almost as soon as you hit the “send” button.    She goes out of her way to answer your questions (and I asked a LOT of them) some that were probably not even vacation related, and she answered those too!    This was my second trip planned with Michelle and I’m sure not the last.   She makes your vacation planning a breeze.   I will miss almost daily emails with Michelle.   LOVE HER !!!  –  Chris P.

Michelle has been fantastic! Been so helpful and polite through it all. I didn’t think it was possible but we have gotten to know each other which is great especially when the internet can be so dangerous these days. She made me feel safe knowing my information is safe. Thank you! – Luke S.  (Sandals honeymoon)

If there was a rating higher than excellent, I’ve would choose it!! Michelle was the best. Extremely attentive and gave the very best service. Love her!!! – Aramis and Tyron

The quality of the service given by Michelle is exemplary.  all too often people will take the time to speak of negative experiences, yet rarely take the opportunity to commend good customer service.  I have been in the hospitality industry since 1975, so I believe I am qualified to make such statements.  I would welcome her as an employee.  but, don’t worry, I live in ABQ, NM!  GREAT JOB, MICHELLE!  –  Marian B.

Michelle answered every question I had VERY promptly…sometimes within a matter of minutes. We felt very prepared and knew exactly what we were getting throughout our honeymoon vacation.  Michelle did everything and more than we thought we’d get from a travel agent.  I told her what we were looking for in a resort, and she found it exactly. She was fast in responding and set everything up for us. We had zero worries and we would certainly use her again for a trip like this.  – Adam A.

Michelle has been there for us for the second time.  We ask alot of questions and she is always helpful in finding us the information in a timely manner.  She seems to be genuinely concerned about our happiness and satisfaction with our vacation plans.  –   Lee W.  

Once again, Michelle Rivers went out of her way to answer all of questions. She found the perfect vacation for us. It’s always a pleasure working with her! –  Danielle and Scott

I don’t usually use a travel agent for vacations, but I will definitely use Michelle again if I should ever need an agent.  She was WONDERFUL.  She usually answered my questions before I ever asked them, she kept me up to date with information.  This could not have been a better vacation! ~  Chris P  

Michelle did a great job of finding a park-n-fly for us in addition to putting together our perfect vacation.   She made our trip worry free. We we aware of everything we encountered.  She was the finest agent we have ever used. She was always available to me at almost any time or hour. I really don’t know how she never sleeps. –  Lee P.

Michelle was extremely helpful in planning this vacation and was always readily available.  i will definitely use her again and recommend her to friends  : ) – Kate R.  

My agent, Michelle Rivers, was excellent in planning out our trip. Michelle picked the right location and beach for our trip. I would recommend Michelle Rivers to all my friends and family.  She is marvelous! – Gloria H.  

We had a great time in Punta Cana and I am so grateful that our travel agent, Michelle Rivers, was such a great help in getting our vacation together so quickly for us!! thank you sooo much Michelle for all of your help and assistance in booking our vacation!! you are truly a gem!!  –  Carly P.

Michelle got us everything on time and we were well prepared for our trip thanks to her.  After talking with others we certainly had one of the better deals for our vacation.  Michelle is always on top of every trip I have taken and would never think of using anyone else but her to book my trips.  I never have to worry that I wont have what I need and I can always get hold of her immediately in most cases which is spectacular!!!  –  Paul C.    

Michelle Rivers is absolutely a delight to deal with. Her customer service skills are superb; she’s courteous, responsive and extremely intuitive. Kudos to you for having a true professional representing your company. ~ Thanks, Tino G

Michelle always does a wonderful job in our travel arrangements. She is also very helpful in helping us choose a resort when undecided. I recommend her highly! –  Kim and Randy P.

Michelle was outstanding. If the trip is as good as her help to set it up this will be the best vacation of my life.  –  Nathan R.

Michelle is wonderful. You can tell she really takes pride in her work and in making sure her clients have everything they need and want in a vacation. I can asure you that I will be calling her again for our next trip! Thank you! – Kimberly R.

Our vacation was terrific. Michelle did a terrific job for us, and when we had a minor problem with transportation, all it took was an email for her to take care of the problem for us…… She is an excellent communicator, answers emails promptly, finds the answers quickly, and treated our vacation like it was her own.  –  Leigh Ann R.

LOVE Michelle.  She is the best – I feel like I’ve found a great agent and friend! – Sis P.  

Michelle Rivers did a terrific job at making our vacation stress-free! – Virginia K.

I talked to her about a quote I had gotten from those vacation package search engines on the Internet. She not only matched the price but made sure that the time I wanted (which the other company did not offer) would come true and it did! She actually made my dream vacation happen! – Maria C.

Repeat traveler with Michelle and GoAwayTravel. Excellent service. – Danielle M.

Michelle Rivers is a great agent… we will book all future trips through her… excellent customer service. – Randy P.

Michelle was awesome.  Frontier canceled our return flight and Michelle was on it.  She also helped us narrow down our resort choices.  She did an excellent job.  We are very pleased. – Michelle A.

Michelle Rivers is awesome! I wouldn’t use any other Agent. – Kim K.

I wanted to congratulate you on your excellent customer service from a representative that works there by the name of Michelle Rivers.  She actually made my dream vacation happen!   She she is very professional and intellectual in what she does. She is willing to go those extra mile to help her customer get what they want.   I would tell everyone who wants to make a reservation for the Caribbean to do it with Michelle. Thank you for having someone so capable, willing and determined to help in your company.   –    Maria Fe

Michelle got us the perfect room just tens of feet from the ocean.  Documents were provided on time and we received timely reminders regarding the booking and travel process. –  Wade C

Michelle got us FABULOUS ACCOMMODATIONS! i have to say that this was one of the best vacations i have taken all the way around! from the first conversation with Michelle to the second we landed home it couldn’t get much better!  –   Joann C

Michelle was amazing, as was our trip…thanks! – Kelly W

Michelle is the best! I totally trust her with all my travel arrangements.  –  Suzanne S  

Michelle answered all my questions and helped me every step of the way.  Would definitely book with her again. – Tina C

We would not even CONSIDER using anybody else……Michelle has made this the greatest experience I’ve had with travel! – Kelly Y

Michelle was extremely helpful in planning and finding our perfect vacation package.  Michelle has answered all of my vacation questions/inquires promptly and in a professional manner.  She has also made several valuable suggestions which made our vacation experience even more enjoyable.  I will definitely work with Michelle in the future and I will recommend Michelle’s services to my friends and family (I have already recommended Michelle to my sister and her husband and they are going to Jamaica in August.  –  Aga C